To celebrate Cyber Week, the MoMA Stores in New York are hosting in-store tech demos of some of the most exciting and innovative products that we sell. What better way to learn about these cutting-edge designs than directly from their makers—join us Monday, December 1, through Friday, December 5, from 1:00–6:00 p.m., in our midtown and Soho stores, for a hands-on experience.
To learn more, we asked each of the design teams about the process of creating their product. Here’s what they had to say…
From your original idea to the prototype to the finished product, did anything change about your design? Why?
Daniel Cowen, Co-Founder, Wobbleworks
Wobbleworks is an emerging technology company with big ideas. They are the people behind 3Doodler, a revolutionary 3-D printing pen that allows you to create any shape you want right before your eyes.
“When we first launched the 3Doodler on Kickstarter we were using completely handmade prototype 3Doodlers. Once our project was funded we literally had to start the design process from scratch; re-working the entire pen so that it could be mass produced efficiently and cost-effectively. Most of the changes related to how the insides of the pen were designed and put together, but we also made small aesthetic changes: streamlining the body of the pen, ensuring the fan sat flush with the surface of the 3Doodler and was visually appealing, and adding accented styling—for example the blue insulator at the tip of the pen and of course our logo. We also added a control port for use with future accessories as well as a mounting bracket on the back of the pen!”
Emily Brooke, CEO and Founder, Blaze
London-based bike lovers Blaze create simple, intelligent, and innovative technology that makes life safer on two wheels. Their Blaze Bike Light projects a super-bright LED image of a cyclist on the ground, making the rider visible before he appears.
“Yes! A huge amount changed from first concept and prototype at University, through to the product you see today. It was Kickstarter that most influenced it’s progression. We asked our backers for their input on features they did and did not value, and their feedback hugely influenced the Laserlight’s design. For example waterproofing and USB charge capabilities. The most common fail of bike lights is water damage, and they also wanted the light to be USB charged—it’s very difficult to seal a micro USB charge port, so we had to design a magnetic, fully-sealed and unique charging system.”
Simon Curtis, Teenage Engineering
Swedish design studio Teenage Engineering creates next generation commercial and communication products.
“The original Carlsson OD-11 was introduced in 1974. Created by Stig Carlsson, the Swedish engineer who challenged the audio industry by designing and refining his loudspeaker for real living rooms, as opposed to the common practice of developing speakers in perfectly damped rooms. Oddly, that contradiction is the same today. The new OD-11 is a result of a close collaboration with the Stig Carlsson Foundation to build on the tradition of Stig Carlssons work and his life long mission for great natural sound. Today, almost all music has moved to the cloud. We think this is a great evolution. But the audio equipment needed to listen to music in the cloud hasn’t really caught up with this transition. So we decided to build it ourselves. To make people enjoy music directly from the cloud and to deliver a great sound as well as a great user experience, we have created a device that is built from the ground up especially for enjoying music in the cloud.”
Anouk Zisa, Vice President of Marketing, Evollve
The emerging California tech company Evollve blends creative thinking with business disciplines to bring new ideas to market, such as the popular Ozobot, an itty-bitty robot that bridges the digital and physical gaming worlds.
“The original idea was to design the smallest smart robot that would allow kids to learn while they play in a modern digital world. Our first prototypes confirmed that we could design a tiny robot (Ozobot) that would react to colors on paper and tablets. We then began developing smart games for Ozobot while continuing to enhance the capabilities to include colored light recognition. This enhancement allowed Ozobot to memorize up to 500 commands before executing them seamlessly. The results produced a smarter robot that re-enforces our message of entertaining while educating through social games such as OzoGroove and creative curriculums based on the fundamentals of STEM and STREAM.”
Jordi Borras, Design Lead, littleBits
Ayah Bdeir’s acclaimed invention littleBits is composed of electronic modules that snap together with tiny magnets for prototyping, learning, and fun. Each bit has a specific function, and the modules connect to make larger circuits.
“The main idea, which is based on a mission that hasn’t changed, is to make electronics a material that everybody can use. Process implies that materializing an idea is the core of designing a product, and it also implies iterating this product in many scenarios. But even when finished, littleBits is not an end product: It’s a tool that constantly needs to evolve and needs to be seen used in an ecosystem of other materials and new incredible tools that are being designed and used as we speak, like some of the ones you can find today here at MoMA.”